Why Mental Health is Important for Businesses
When, it comes to the well-being of an individual people will immediately think of a physically fit person. This makes sense since one’s physicality indicates how healthy a person’s body is and how the look on the outside. Yet recently there are more studies indicating that a person’s physical health can attribute to a person’s mental health. In article for Forbes Magazine titled “How to Prioritize Mental Health at Your Business”, it details the methods that employers can use to produce an environment that is beneficial for their employees mentally. The article details a survey made by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans which states that “two-thirds of employers said mental health and substance abuse issues have contributed to absenteeism and tardiness at their organizations” (Forbes). Additionally, the survey also states that more than 60% percent of the survey’s respondents say that these issues can also affect physical health, job performance, focus, and productivity.
The next part of the article describes six business owners who have dealt with mental health and implemented policy to combat mental health within their businesses. Three of the examples is r Elizabeth Falconer, Joe Burton, and Samia Reichel who detailed her experience dealing with mental health issues. After experiencing the death of her father, mother, and two grandmothers all in the span of 14 months she found herself unable to work and made the decision to take time off. What she discovered was that her time off allowed herself to decompress and come to terms with the passing of her family members. That experience translated into her business practices where she tries to provide more flexible with work times and provide “downtime” for those experiencing personal crisis. Joe Burton founder and CEO of Whil explained that his time as a COO for another company was extremely stressful with 14-hour days and constant travel. Unfortunately, he herniated his back and lost two siblings to drug and suicide. This caused him to reach a crisis point and he decided to always prioritize stress management. Now he tells his employees to take 5-10-minute mental breaks every 50 minutes and has his employees hold mindfulness meditation at 3 pm each day. Samia Reichel the VP Escrow of Fidelity National Financial prioritizes self-management through promoting good physical health. Additionally, through meetings they discuss what tasks needed to be completed and what deadlines needed to be. The meetings allow employees to redistribute work if an individual is struggling in to keep the individual on track.
The commonality between all of these business owners is a willingness to put in the time and effort to organize and provide resources for their employees. Each business owner committed themselves into providing spaces where their employees can either take a break or discuss issues that they are facing. For business owners that are noticing mental health issues among their employees is worth the time and effort to provide the outlets and services needed for their employees to be productive and healthy. In the short term it definitely will require time to formulate and enact new policies geared towards positive mental health but in the long term it will ensure the longevity and productivity of their company. Employees to a business owner is their most important asset and if the owners do not care for their employee’s well-being it can only get worse from there.